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GYG: Time to Pull out All the Stops Watch

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    Introduction



    Hi, I'm a 1st-year undergrad studying composition at Royal College of Music. By TSR's standards, I'm a complete idiot achieving ABE in Music, Maths and Further Maths respectively. I know I was capable of better grades but an unconditional offer in December left me apathetic towards studying and revision. However, I'm now in my element and am aiming high and I plan on getting a 1st in my degree. It will be a challenge but I believe I'm capable of it if I work hard and hopefully, this blog will help me stay motivated - something I've struggled with in the past.

    This blog will most likely be comprised of short, hopefully daily, updates. As well as tracking my progress, the blog will hopefully give readers some insight into what its like to study at a music conservatoire. Also if anyone's interested I will do a post on the audition/interview process as it's quite different to other subjects.




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    Goals for the Year

    PRIMARY GOALS
    Improve my compositions and find my compositional style
    Achieve great grades for each module (70% or higher)

    SECONDARY GOALS
    Carry on learning French. While I've been doing Lingvist flashcards for awhile; I only started learning properly a couple of weeks ago and I would love to be fluent someday.


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    To be notified of when I post. Just let me know if you what to be added (or removed).


    My Study Area


    There was this cool rainbow effect in my room so I figured that that was a good excuse to show a couple of pictures of the desk in my room. Hopeful the rainbow is a sign of good things to come.
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    (Original post by ChocCheesecake)




    Introduction




    Hi, I'm a 1st-year undergrad studying composition at Royal College of Music. By TSR's standards, I'm a complete idiot achieving ABE in Music, Maths and Further Maths respectively. I know I was capable of better grades but an unconditional offer in December left me apathetic towards studying and revision. However, I'm now in my element and am aiming high and I plan on getting a 1st in my degree. It will be a challenge but I believe I'm capable of it if I work hard and hopefully, this blog will help me stay motivated - something I've struggled with in the past.

    This blog will most likely be comprised of short, hopefully daily, updates. As well as tracking my progress, the blog will hopefully give readers some insight into what its like to study at a music conservatoire. Also if anyone's interested I will do a post on the audition/interview process as it's quite different to other subjects.





    My Study Area



    There was this cool rainbow effect in my room so I figured that that was a good excuse to show a couple of pictures of the desk in my room. Hopeful the rainbow is a sign of good things to come.
    your study area is lovely!

    what are your main goals for this year?
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    (Original post by clouddbubbles)
    your study area is lovely!

    what are your main goals for this year?
    Thanks. It was really untidy when the rainbow effect first appeared so I had to do a really quick tidy before it disappeared.

    I’ll include my main goals in my original post
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    Woah I need to get myself a study area like yours, half the time I work on my bed! :facepalm:

    Well done getting into music college, that’s an amazing achievement! :yep:
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    (Original post by EmilySarah00)
    Woah I need to get myself a study area like yours, half the time I work on my bed! :facepalm:

    Well done getting into music college, that’s an amazing achievement! :yep:
    Thanks! I've tried working on my bed before but it made me really sleepy!
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    Saturday, 4 November

    I woke up at 10 so I’m a bit late starting today. Oh well.

    11:00
    I’ve abandoned the Historical Studies module for too long now. Time to get reading. Hopefully, I can do a chapter a week.

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    11:30
    The chapter turned out to be 5 pages long so I listened to some of the music mentioned in the chapter. Here’s the post-it note of the pieces for those interested.

    Attachment 701908

    12:15
    On occasion, I’ve woken up with back and/or neck pain. Being that I’m 18, I shouldn’t really be having back problems so last week I started doing the ‘30 days of yoga’ on YouTube. Just finished day 7. It’s really relaxing. Would definitely recommend.

    15:40
    I've just finished writing out the plan and sketching ideas for my new piece. It's based on the portrait 'One of Them is a Human #1' which is one of the finalists of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017. The portrait is of an android from Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories, which has caused some controversy. The piece is for solo violin and to represent the algorithmic nature of the android, I have used one-dimensional Perlin noise to generate the melodic contour of the piece.

    17:25
    The last hour and a bit were pretty unproductive but that's okay. I replied to school emails ... nothing too exciting.

    21:00 - Fireworks
    There was a firework display which I could see from outside the halls! I forget how loud there were, how there's a delay between seeing them and hearing the explosion - so powerful it makes the ground shake. By the time it was over I was freezing. :snow:

    Attachment 701250

    23:35
    I almost forgot to do some French today. I really ought to do one Assimil lesson a day. I have more motivation in the morning so I'm gonna try doing French in the morning. I still managed to do 129 flashcards on Lingvist so I didn't do too badly.

    Reflection

    While I was pretty productive today, after I finished the tasks I needed to get done; I felt aimless and, as a result, unproductive. I'm gonna start setting goals for myself to help keep me on top of what needs to get done.

    Goals for tomorrow

    • Continue the 30 days of yoga and do an Assimil French lesson in the morning.
    • Do the first draft of my composition
    • Rewrite my lecture notes from Historical Studies
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    Wow, I love your blog actually! All of the photos are so arty, this is exactly what we need in GYG! :love: I might join you in the 30 days of yoga
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    (Original post by Amefish)
    Wow, I love your blog actually! All of the photos are so arty, this is exactly what we need in GYG! :love: I might join you in the 30 days of yoga
    Thanks!

    You totally should do the 30 days of yoga. It's a really nice way to start or end the day.
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    Sunday, 5 November


    12:25
    Another late start today (10:30) but I did manage to do some yoga and an Assimil French lesson so that’s good. After lunch, I’m gonna go to the shops and rewrite my Historical Studies notes.

    14:00
    I’ve been “just about to start working” for an hour and a half now… this is ridiculous. Time to start working.

    14:40
    Just done a good 40 minutes. I’m gonna have a small break then get back to work

    15:40
    Another 40 minutes done.

    17:15
    I stopped writing out my lecture notes as it was way to soporific. I’m trying to get better at orchestration so I’ve started orchestrating a piece I did for my A2 Music performance - the Sunken Cathedral by Debussy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAVyKDDsM3s

    20:25
    After dinner, I relaxed and did some composing. I’m currently watching Blue Planet II.

    Reflection

    I wish I had got more done today. By mid-afternoon I had lost all of my motivation. I’m going to start waking up earlier from now on so that, even I lose motivation later in the day, I’ve still got 3-4 hours of work in.

    I’ve got a very busy day tomorrow up at RCM (11:45-21:00) so I won’t be doing timed entries in tomorrow’s update.
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    The hell does GYG stand for lol?
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    (Original post by Texxers)
    The hell does GYG stand for lol?
    Grow your grades. It's a thing that TSR is doing
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    (Original post by ChocCheesecake)
    Grow your grades. It's a thing that TSR is doing
    Ahh right.
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    Monday, 6 November


    Phew, that was a long day. I got up at 8:30 to do some yoga, lesson 4 of my Assimil French book and the washing up that I forgot to do last night (oops).

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    I then headed off to RCM for my Historical Studies lecture. This lecture was about Stockhausen and Boulez. In part of the lecture, it was mentioned that, just how E=mc^2 tells us that energy and mass are the same thing (just on massively different scales), rhythm and pitch are also the same. This link between pitch and rhythm is exploited by Stockhausen in some of his works. Adam Neely did a brilliant video explaining said link called “Harmonic Polyrhythms Explained!” which I would strongly recommend to anyone who was even remotely interested in what I just said. He explains it much better than me.

    After the lecture, I got some piano music from the library (Bartok: Mikrokosmos 153) and practised that for a while. It was kinda depressing because a year ago, I could play 153 really well (not quite up to speed though) but since then, I had forgotten a sizeable chunk of it. While that’s to be expected when you haven’t played a piece in a while, it was still pretty annoying.

    Following a seminar about the listening exam in May, all the 1st and 2nd-years had a 3-hour rehearsal for the Mozart Requiem concerts this Thursday and Friday. In Thursday’s concert, we’ll be joined by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge which you can watch for free on the RCM’s live stream! The rehearsal was tiring but so fun. I’ve never sung alongside an orchestra and been in a choir which doesn’t slide out of tune XD. It was such a great experience. I can’t wait till the first concert! I don’t know how everyone is going to fit on stage though; it was full during the rehearsal and that was without the King’s College Choir! The rehearsal finished at 21:00 and after that, I got home, ate dinner and FaceTimed my parents.

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    While today’s been really fun, I’m glad I don’t have any lessons tomorrow as I need to relax a bit and finish writing the piece I mentioned in the Saturday entry. If you live in/near London, the piece is actually gonna be performed in the National Portrait Gallery on 8th December 2017 as part of a free concert! XD
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    Tuesday, 7 November - This too shall pass

    I knew today would be unproductive when I went to bed at 3 am. I was in such high spirits yesterday and this has brought me crashing back down. For the whole day, I've been so angry with myself for going to bed so late, for being so stupid. This pervading anger didn't just prevent me from being productive but also from looking after myself. The only thing I've eaten today is a small bowl of tortellini, a cereal bar, and a magnum. Bar a small excursion to the shops, I've kept myself in my room all day. I did manage a couple small tasks. I wrote about half a minute of my piece and wrote out a list of all the 42 pieces which we could be tested on in the listening exam. I can't let this anger-sadness (I can't think of the right word to describe it) control me but I'd be lying if knew how to prevent it. I tend to be ok by the next morning so hopefully, that'll be the case today.

    Well, I'm gonna do some yoga. I'm on day 11 and I'm not gonna let my incompetence ruin my streak. Maybe if I have some time before bed I'll do a French lesson. If you're reading this, I'd love you to comment just so I know who's actually following my blog.

    UPDATE: I’ve done my yoga and while I didn’t do a French lesson, I did 100 flash cards so hey... the day ended well.
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    (Original post by ChocCheesecake)
    Tuesday, 7 November - This too shall pass

    I knew today would be unproductive when I went to bed at 3 am. I was in such high spirits yesterday and this has brought me crashing back down. For the whole day, I've been so angry with myself for going to bed so late, for being so stupid. This pervading anger didn't just prevent me from being productive but also from looking after myself. The only thing I've eaten today is a small bowl of tortellini, a cereal bar, and a magnum. Bar a small excursion to the shops, I've kept myself in my room all day. I did manage a couple small tasks. I wrote about half a minute of my piece and wrote out a list of all the 42 pieces which we could be tested on in the listening exam. I can't let this anger-sadness (I can't think of the right word to describe it) control me but I'd be lying if knew how to prevent it. I tend to be ok by the next morning so hopefully, that'll be the case today.

    Well, I'm gonna do some yoga. I'm on day 11 and I'm not gonna let my incompetence ruin my streak. Maybe if I have some time before bed I'll do a French lesson. If you're reading this, I'd love you to comment just so I know who's actually following my blog.

    UPDATE: I’ve done my yoga and while I didn’t do a French lesson, I did 100 flash cards so hey... the day ended well.
    I hate days like these! When you know you can do better but then it makes it so hard to sit down and be productive you're still getting a lot more done then me hopefully the next day was better for you!
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    (Original post by Ellai)
    I hate days like these! When you know you can do better but then it makes it so hard to sit down and be productive you're still getting a lot more done then me hopefully the next day was better for you!
    It was better
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    Wednesday, 8 November

    Today was so much better. Despite having an almost completely full day at the college (10:00-21:00) with only 4 hours where I’m not in a class/rehearsal, I still managed to complete the first assignment for Composition with Sequencer and did a good chunk of composing in the library. I’ll have to take a photo of the library to show you lot; it’s lovely.

    I’ve got a lot to do tomorrow. I want to finish my composition and orchestrate more of The Sunken Cathedral for my composition lesson on Friday. However, since I’m buzy the next 2 evenings doing the Mozart Requiem concert (which you can watch tomorrow at 19:30 on the livestream) I probably won’t have time to finish my composition by then. For a piece based on an algorithm it’s taking a surprisingly long time to write.

    I only did 27 french flashcards today but that’s because I normally do them on the commute and on the way there, my phone was charging in my bag and on the way home, I was with a friend so I talked to her instead (I got a friend atlast XD). I did do my yoga though. While it’s only been 12 days, I’ve already noticed a huge difference in by flexibility and, more importantly, I havn’t had any neck pain since I started (and only 1 day of slight back pain).
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    Thursday, 9 November - The day of the concert

    Sorry for the short post (I need to go to bed soon)

    I slept through what could have been a productive morning and by the time I woke up I had to go straight to college. I did manage to do some composing before the concert so that was good. The concert was so much fun; I can’t wait for tomorrow’s concert!
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    Friday, 10 November - The day of the other concert

    Gosh, today was super busy! I woke up at 7:30 and got to college at 9:00 for my first lesson of the day - Aural. We focused on recognising chord progressions by ear and singing the intervals 7th and 2nd (both major and minor). In the library, I then managed to do some orchestration on my laptop before going to a talk from the Creative Careers Centre which was super useful. I then did a smidge more work in the library before heading off to my composition lesson. Unfortunately, due to my earlier library sessions on my laptop, it ran out of charge part way into the lesson! After the lesson, I then quickly went home, had some late lunch, changed into my tuxedo for RCM's 2nd performance of the Mozart Requiem, learned how to tie a bow tie (that took a fricking long time) and headed back off to college for the 16:40 rehearsal.

    We finally finished the rehearsal at 18:00. I then had 90 minutes to kill before the concert so a couple of friends and I went to the V&A where there was a free public concert. 20 minutes later, we went to Five Guys for some food where I blew a quarter of the week's budget ordering a large portion of fries (no regrets ). Following the concert, I went home, had some hot chocolate, watched a few videos and went to bed.

    Confession
    My daily yoga streak ended today but I don't feel too bad about it. After all, my day today was very busy.
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    (Original post by ChocCheesecake)
    Friday, 10 November - The day of the other concert

    Gosh, today was super busy! I woke up at 7:30 and got to college at 9:00 for my first lesson of the day - Aural. We focused on recognising chord progressions by ear and singing the intervals 7th and 2nd (both major and minor). In the library, I then managed to do some orchestration on my laptop before going to a talk from the Creative Careers Centre which was super useful. I then did a smidge more work in the library before heading off to my composition lesson. Unfortunately, due to my earlier library sessions on my laptop, it ran out of charge part way into the lesson! After the lesson, I then quickly went home, had some late lunch, changed into my tuxedo for RCM's 2nd performance of the Mozart Requiem, learned how to tie a bow tie (that took a fricking long time) and headed back off to college for the 16:40 rehearsal.

    We finally finished the rehearsal at 18:00. I then had 90 minutes to kill before the concert so a couple of friends and I went to the V&A where there was a free public concert. 20 minutes later, we went to Five Guys for some food where I blew a quarter of the week's budget ordering a large portion of fries (no regrets ). Following the concert, I went home, had some hot chocolate, watched a few videos and went to bed.

    Confession
    My daily yoga streak ended today but I don't feel too bad about it. After all, my day today was very busy.
    your day sounds great!
    who cares about yoga
    you seem to have had a great day, very productive and busy!!!
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